Snowbird Driving Habits in Sebastian, Vero Beach

Vero Beach and Sebastian residents report bad driving habits from Snowbirds.
Vero Beach and Sebastian residents report bad driving habits from Snowbirds.

VERO BEACH – When leaving Sebastian on U.S. Highway 1, I felt like Vero Beach was Miami when traveling through Miracle Mile.

It took me almost 45 minutes to make the Vero Beach drive because all the out-of-state tags decided to drive under the speed limit in both lanes.

Sebastian Daily covers a lot of news in Indian River County, and south Brevard. We have to be at different locations throughout the day.

We could be in Vero Beach and have to drive quickly to Sebastian. Or, we could be in Micco and have to cover a story in Vero Lake Estates.

It hasn’t been easy to make these trips, and adding to the frustration are those who make a complete stop on U.S. 1 before pulling into a plaza or when making a right turn.

We love the snowbirds and enjoy the benefits of a great economy when they visit. But their driving habits upset me.

Yesterday, I was driving in Sebastian, and some woman tried to cross the median while leaving her vehicle sitting out in the fast lane. This nearly caused an accident because all cars had to brake. I blew my horn, but she looked at me as if it was my fault.

There’s been a lot of construction this week in Sebastian. Some of these projects force cars to merge into one lane. Snowbirds don’t signal, and they assume you’re watching when they cut you off when merging into your lane.

The Historic Downtown area in Vero Beach also has its problems. People are parking way too close to others on the street. One guy had to climb through the passenger side door after a large Cadillac, with out-of-state plates, parked way too close.

Snowbirds also like to slam on their brakes when they see a yellow traffic light, which causes everyone else to stop suddenly.

We don’t like to pick on Snowbirds, and I don’t think there’s any solution to the road problem. Most people living in Sebastian and Vero Beach are working, and have places to be.

However, most Snowbirds will remind us that they pour money into the economy. That’s true, but bar & restaurant employees will say they don’t tip. I don’t think that’s a fair statement, but whatever.

We all have to share the roads, but here are a couple of tips. If you’re in the fast lane and see someone behind you, do everyone a favor and use the slow lane. Don’t drive next to the vehicle in the slow lane. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.